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Book Chat > Hunger Games, an original?

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message 1: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah Crain | 88 comments So the Hunger Games series has become highly popular since its initial publication in, I believe it was, 2008. However, did anyone know there was a, yet again, Japanese novel and later movie that published in 1999 with a VERY similar plot line? It is called Battle Royale. Here I was thinking someone came up with something unique, but again appears to be only another Japanese rip off. I haven't read the book, but I am watching the movie right now. Starts out in a less post apocalyptic setting, but still a similar vein. Then kids are chosen at random to go fight to the death on an island that has different sections that each have their own special awfulness. I am only a little bit into the movie, but I can't help feel now that Hunger Games was a total unoriginal. :(


message 2: by Tiphanie (new)

Tiphanie (tiphanierichelle) I loved the hunger games series. When the first movie released, I made my boyfriend watch it with me. He is a huge gamer and in turn, very knowledgable on all things Japanese. During the whole movie he talked about how it was a rip off of another movie. It was definitely disappointing.


message 3: by Kristin (new)

Kristin (kplausky) | 57 comments awww :( That is disappointing, but what if, a big what if, the author didn't know about this Japanese book/movie?


message 4: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah Crain | 88 comments That could be true too, and I know that most things are a variation of other things. That said I do feel disappointed that Hunger Games isn't as original as I thought. Still good....


Mιss •kαthєяίиє•  Τhε Emεrαℓd Pяίиcεss® (emerald_princess) | 4 comments When I first read the HG I couldn't shake the feeling that it reminded me of something. Though I haven't read the book you are talking about, Hunger Games still had a lot of things that are not original. Capitol and the way the ate at District 1 has a lot of stuff from the Latins. In ancient Rome they used to eat food and then puke it so that could eat more. Plus the names, arena capitol etc. are Roman. She may or may not have known about that story but she took inspiration from things that existed and used it for her story...


message 6: by Kristin (new)

Kristin (kplausky) | 57 comments Mιss •kαthєяίиє• wrote: "When I first read the HG I couldn't shake the feeling that it reminded me of something. Though I haven't read the book you are talking about, Hunger Games still had a lot of things that are not ori..."

Doesn't everyone take what they know and use it as inspiration? I have a friend who is an author, who told me that when I read his book that I will "find familiar personalities"....geez, I hope he got me right! ;)


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I've read 3 or 4 books with this action. There are only so many plots.


message 8: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Bocci | 3 comments Some minor inaccuracies in this thread (as I've read both Battle Royale and the Hunger Games trilogy):

In Battle Royale, the students are not chosen at random - it's an entire graduating class of people who know each other who are put in the simulation, while in Hunger Games, it's only two children from each district that are chosen. There are . . . I don't remember how many at the start of BR, but I think it's closer to 100, maybe over. Which is a relatively small-seeming difference, but think about how conflicted(-ish, though I seriously think she's the coldest, most unfeeling heroine I've ever seen about most things) Katniss is about killing Peeta, someone she knows, and then Rue, who she comes to like. There's a whole different sort of terror inherent in killing someone you know, compared to killing a stranger.

Osho said 'there are only so many plots' - this is true. Even by the time Shakespeare was writing them, they'd happened in real life, been written about, or he'd heard a similar story somewhere. That was centuries ago. Sure, we have new technology and new ways of being horrible to each other, but that doesn't mean the stories change overly.

Honestly? I'd compare Battle Royale to Lord of the Flies, which came first, though there are hefty differences. Hunger Games compares more to ancient Greek and Roman Traditions.


message 9: by Beth (new)

Beth (ixyavi) | 8 comments As I first started reading the Hunger Games, I was actually somewhat reminded of Stephen King's The Long Walk.

I'm not sure why :o But I'm not that far into the Hunger Games yet.


message 10: by Kia (new)

Kia | 31 comments I believe Battle Royale is on Netflix streaming now so you can watch it and compare. I've seen several people compare it to the Hunger Games movie treatment.


message 11: by Mark (new)

Mark Chisnell (markchisnell) | 13 comments Courtney wrote: "Some minor inaccuracies in this thread (as I've read both Battle Royale and the Hunger Games trilogy):

In Battle Royale, the students are not chosen at random - it's an entire graduating class of ..."


I'm with Courtney - there are only basic seven plots, so every thing is derivative of something else at some level.

Battle Royale is a great film, but The Hunger Games takes that basic idea and makes it do a lot more work. They both deserve to belong in the world!


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